Facebook's Zuckerberg To Promote Immigration Reform With Hackathon, Other Events

Credit: jdlasica-Foter-CC-BY-NCCredit: jdlasica-Foter-CC-BY-NCMark Zuckerberg's FWD.us, a “pro-immigration conservative” lobbying group, is leading a multi-faceted campaign for comprehensive immigration reform.

The group is hosting a hackathon on November 20-21 at the Mountain View, Calif., headquarters of LinkedIn. FWD.us is specifically looking for “DREAMers,” young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally, to participate in the event. The organization's website states that the immigrants will be broken up into teams, and “each team will create a project or application that could help supporters share stories, contact members of Congress or show family and friends why they want meaningful immigration reform.” They will be mentored by Zuckerberg himself, as well as tech entrepreneurs like LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman, Dropbox's Drew Houston, and Groupon's Andrew Mason.

The Silicon Beat explains, “Hackathons, of course, are a time-honored Silicon Valley strategy for tackling problems and finding solutions — or at least calling attention to an issue.  Facebook in particular has long celebrated the tradition of holding all-night coding sessions to resolve nagging problems or create new apps.”

FWD.us is also co-sponsoring media campaigns and trips to Washington, D.C. A “diverse coalition” of business leaders and non-profit representatives will meet in Washington next week, according to The Hill's Jennifer Martinez, who details how it could be a boon for Republicans:

But some argue immigration reform could be a winning issue for House Republicans at a time when they need to repair their party’s image.

“House Republicans need a win right now. They need to have something positive to say they’re for,” said a tech lobbyist. “They’re trying to turn attention away from what’s happened, and this could be one of those things.” 

Tech representatives said they see encouraging signs in the House, where top Republicans are attempting to craft legislation that deals with the thorniest piece of the debate: how to deal with the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. 

Zuckerberg explained in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this year that he started FWD.us because he believes the future of America's workforce lies in the cross-section of technology and young entrepreneurs.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Do they realize jerbs are being took?

  • PapayaSF||

    Because increasing the supply of something never reduces the price?

    I know why the Zuckerbergs want immigration reform (beyond the idealistic reasons): cheap labor and more Democratic voters. I also know why Republicans and libertarians want cheap labor, even in a recession with high unemployment. What I don't understand is why Republicans and libertarians are so eager for more Democratic voters, or why they think the benefits outweigh that rather noticeable cost.

  • Acosmist||

    Welfare for billionaires, because ???

  • Jordan||

    Derp?

  • ||

    FWD.us is specifically looking for “DREAMers,” young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally, to participate in the event.

    I hope they don't get a surprise visit* from ICE during the event.

    * by visit I mean armed raid

  • Hugh Akston||

    The problem with Reds embracing immigration reform is that they also have to cater to their xenophobe and ForeverWar constituencies. So any proposals that may represent steps toward treating immigrants like human beings seeking political freedom and economic opportunity will be tempered with an increased police state at the border and idiotic Kulture War nonsense like requiring Mexican rice to be called "Freedom Wheat."

    So if you really want to know what it will be like when Republicans embrace immigration reform, just drink a beer with a cat turd in it.

  • ||

    Freedom beans
    Good for your heart
    The more you eat, the more you fart
    The more you fart, the better you feel
    And don't ever think of letting those filthy beaners into this country

  • Homple||

    Of course there are no social or economic reasons to oppose the upcoming amnesty act. We can have unlimited immigration plus a welfare state with an eternal budget deficit and a national debt at 17 trillion dollars and growing.
    Questioning this is xenophobic human-rights-denying racism, pure and simple.

    Nobody who migrates here will ever use welfare of government paid social programs, unlike the 47 million citizens already here who are on the food stamp program and who knows how many others on Social Security Disability.... US citizens are the only people on earth capable of freeloading.

    Derp, you say? The politicians and lobbyists will soon start a large scale immigration experiment and we'll find out in due course if objections are derp or not.

  • John||

    I am all for immigration reform. Lets change the HB1 system and make it where people are not deported if they lose their jobs. Lets let the various Chinese and Indian coolies that douchebags like this guy bring in, treat like shit and pay nothing and send them home after a year, a chance to quit their jobs and go find another. You know, create a functioning labor market.

    Something tells me that is not Mark's idea of immigration reform.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The reason they are sent home after a year has nothing to do with Zuckerberg, et al., but immigration law.

  • John||

    And the reason why Zuckerberg can treat them like shit is that if they are fired, they lose their VISA. Lets change that. Lets let them in and let them actually participate in the labor market.

  • Jerryskids||

    Nah, Zuckerberg treats everybody like shit. I can't stand that weaselly bastard.

  • ||

    I think you would find that Mark would wholeheartedly agree.

    His movement has to temper its message to appease the nationalists, but the statement on the website on H-1B visas is pretty clear:

    Modifications to the guest worker program must also include an increase in the number of H-1B visas to attract the world’s best and the brightest workers, while implementing reforms that encourage this talent to permanently reside in the U.S.

    I really do wonder where people get the wild notion that software companies want to do anything but concentrate the world's talent at their doorstep for as long as possible. It is precisely the opposite. As Heroic Mulatto notes, immigration law is the archenemy of innovative companies.

  • fin-tastic||

    In related news, poor children are now the majority in public schools in the South and West. If Zuckerberg thinks poor immigrants will produce America's next generation of entrepreneurs, call me skeptical.

  • Don Mynack||

    Why they just be declared resident aliens (which they are) and not full citizens? If the pols and corporate douches are so concerned about their welfare, isn't this the most logical solution?

  • ||

    Yes. This is the tell that liberal supporters of immigration reform are not actually interested in freedom or morality or even human well being. They are interested solely in voters.

    There should be a path to legality, not necessarily a path to citizenship. And it should apply to everyone in the world, not just illegal immigrants of the past.

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